Rorate Caeli

Card. Brandmüller: Nostra aetate and Dignitatis humanae non-binding

Yesterday, a new book authored by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller (Emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences), Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, and Mons. Nicola Bux was presented to the media in the studios of Radio Vaticana: “Le ‘chiavi’ di Benedetto XVI per interpretare il Vaticano II” (The keys of Benedict XVI for the interpretation of Vatican II, Cantagalli, Siena). 

In an interview to Radio Vaticana, Abp. Marchetto answered several questions, including the following: 
 Q. – Let us return to the hermeneutic of discontinuity, of rupture, and the hermeneutic of reform: which one prevails today within the Church?

A. – Unfortunately, I must say, the one of rupture prevails. I would rather add that it is acknowledged today that not only the extreme fringe - of what was the majority in the Council -, but also the Traditionalist movements say the same thing. For them also there was a rupture. Therefore, there is still much work to be done. 
Catholic News Service recorded some interesting words by Card. Brandmüller, who was also present:

 In the book, Cardinal Brandmuller said the SSPX and the Old Catholics who rejected the papal infallibility teaching of the First Vatican Council "have in common a rejection of the legitimate developments of the doctrine and life of the church." While the cardinal described the Old Catholics as having an "insignificant role" in global Christianity today, he said the vitality of the SSPX forces the church "to demonstrate that their protests are unjustified. One can only hope this will happen." Asked about the passage in the book, Cardinal Brandmuller told reporters, "We hope that the Holy Father's attempt to reunify the church succeeds." ...

"There is a huge difference between a great constitution," like the Vatican II constitutions on the church, the liturgy and divine revelation, "and simple declarations," like the Vatican II declarations on Christian education and the mass media. "Strangely enough, the two most controversial documents" for the SSPX -- those on religious freedom  [Dignitatis humanae] and on relations with non-Christians [Nostra aetate] -- "do not have a binding doctrinal content, so one can dialogue about them," the cardinal said. "So I don't understand why our friends in the Society of St. Pius X concentrate almost exclusively on these two texts. And I'm sorry that they do so, because these are the two that are most easy to accept if we consider their canonical nature" as non-binding, he said.

[Rorate note: Traditional Catholics say there was a rupture because there actually was a rupture - from the writing style to the ambiguous content of the texts, Vatican II was a rupture-event. And those most close to it interpreted it thus, if not in theory, at least in practice: the new mass and rites of sacraments were a practical interpretive rupture that went much further than the great inflection signaled by the Constitution on the Liturgy, but nonetheless an interpretation grounded on several minor aspects of the actual text and made by and under the name of the great guarantor of the Council, Paul VI. Now then, an attempt to interpret the whole of the Council according to a view of "reform in continuity" is laudable, but those, even sincere outsiders, who see this interpretive attempt as a kind of constrained intellectual exercise are not necessarily mistaken.]